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James Bond, social critiquing through the ages?

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  • James Bond, social critiquing through the ages?

    Has anyone ever thought of James Bond as a social scientist? Of course not, however about a week ago after watching one of the Bond films things just clicked and I found myself analyzing the Bond franchise for signs that have shown societies changes over the last half decade and here are some of the things I came up with. I would appreciate any input of your opinions on the matter as I am doing this for a research topic for college.

    Dr. No (1962) – paralleling the recent US and Global paranoids of the Cold War that the situation might escalate the cold war into a “hot” one, through direct intent by one of the super powers on by indirect intent. (SPECTRE)
    From Russia With Love (1963) – paralleling the idea in western thought that Russian (Communist) interests were anti Democracy. (Cold War)

    Goldfinger (1964) – At the beginning of the film where Bond is in Miami where the only adults present are Bond, Goldfinger, Felix Lighter and Goldfinger’s card dupe. Paralleling the sixties as the age of youth, as 70 million children from the post-war baby boom became teenagers and young adults. Also the climactic fight at Fort Knox paralleled the issue during the sixties of currency baking which during WWII, FDR had taken the US of the gold standard and that the war was so profitable and good for the economy that the resulting economic boom lasted until the 60’s when issues of SS and FDR’s state funded programs caught up with the bank.

    Thunderball (1965) – This little title of course paralleling, Oct 18-29, 1962. These dates being the Cuban Missile Crises.

    You Only Live Twice (1967) – Bonds death and rebirth paralleling Cranston’s book Reincarnation in Western Thought that came to become a major “theology” during this time. Also during this time Japan becoming a major factor in the Political (Japan became a member of the UN in the late 50’s and headed several important committees during the mid to late 60’s) and Economic (Sony which during this time was establishing plants in the US.) playground.

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) - This movie was a mistake so I will make no excuse in order to analyze this horrid film.

    Diamonds Are Forever (1971) – paralleled the rise of the Mega resorts of Las Vegas, which during this time came to be known as Americas Playground.

    Live and Let Die (1973) – paralleling the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s and 70’s and the emergence of African American Culture as portrayed in this film, as well as the upsurge of the Cajun south and Mardi Gras.

    The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) - During this time Green Peace, (1971) and other organizations dedicated to their “ideals” of a better world were founded to go along with the new sciences that dictated that the Earths population was quickly using up and destroying Earths natural resources. This latest bond film focused on the obtaining of the Solex Converter, which would end Earth’s energy “crises.”

    The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – January 1977 and the signing of Charter 77, which brought into light the possibility of Anglo-Russo cooperation when it was published in Western newspapers on January 7th of that year.

    Moonraker (1979) – Technology was at a new zenith as the world saw it. And this Bond outing was about technologies influence to create a new world. The floppy disc appeared in 1970, and the next year Intel introduced the microprocessor, the "computer on a chip." Apollo 17, the last manned craft to the moon, brought back 250 samples of rock and soil. Unmanned space probes explored the moon, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, and Venus. The U.S. Apollo 18 and the USSR's Soyuz 19 linked up in space to conduct joint experiments. Atari produced the first low-priced integrated circuit TV games, and the videocassette recorder (VCR) changed home entertainment forever. Jumbo jets revolutionized commercial flight, doubling passenger capacity and increasing flight range to 6,000 miles. The neutron bomb, which destroys living beings but leaves buildings intact, was developed. In medicine, ultrasound diagnostic techniques were developed. The sites of DNA production on genes were discovered, and the fledging research in genetic engineering was halted pending development of safer techniques. The first test tube baby was born, developed from an artificially inseminated egg implanted in the mother's womb. If man could have done all these things he certainly could reshape the world’s destiny our so the antagonist Hugo Drax thought.

    For Your Eyes Only (1981) – During this time cryptography became an all important issue in this age of computers so naturally encryption and coded messages became paramount to a nations secrets staying secret. This obviously led to the proposition of a new 128 bit key cipher designed to replace the aging DES standard: IDEA, I guess Zimmerman proved them wrong in 91’ with his freeware PGP release based on IDEA algorithms. How this relates to FYEO was that the movie is centralized on obtaining a British coding device.

    Octopussy (1983) – The Cold War is drawing down. (Thank you Reagan) Russia is no longer perceived as the most dangerous threat to Western society. However old ideas die-hard and this Bond outing focuses on a last ditch attempt by a relic general of the Soviets preparing to start WWIII.

    A View to a Kill (1985) – Silicon Valley is the target of this film. And with this film goes the idea of… aww fuck it I could not think of anything for this film. This is still a work in progress.
    The Living Daylights (1987) - This Bond movie stands out for it is basically the last to incorporate the USSR, the KGB, and any other Cold War element plots. Cheers to The Living Daylights, an unsung hero of the James Bond series. This movie was kind of like a send off signifying the death of his longtime antagonists the Soviets. In a way it paralleled the death of the USSR.
    License to Kill (1989) – The Rev. Joe (played by Wayne Newton) portrays a televangelist paralleling a series of scandals in the late 1980’s resulting in the destroyed reputations of several famous Christian televangelists, including Jim and Tammy Faye Baker and Jimmy Swaggart. Also the main focus of the film being revenge on a drug lord were before Bond’s enemy had been the Russians or SPECTRE now with this new Bond film is paralleled by the new War of the Reagan and Bush (41) administrations.

    GoldenEye (1995) – The return of James Bond after a six-year hiatus signaled the dawn of a new Bond. Bond now returned in the truly technological way. Much like we now know that war is not so much fought on the battlefield by ordinary soldiers but in the compounds and places of technology are these new information wars won. In GoldenEye the new enemy is cyber terrorists and Hackers incidentally paralleling the rise in Media attention to computer crimes.

    Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) - Whoever wrote that the “Pen is mightier than the sword” would have probably written the screenplay for this Bond film. This particular Bond film showcases the power of the media and it effect upon world culture and ideals. Paralleling the rise of our own consumer media interests. (TV, Satellite, Internet)
    The World is Not Enough (1999) – Oil!!! Current politics aside this crude black substance seems to “drive” the world round. (Pun Intended)

    Die Another Day (2002) – This movie parallels the rise of the Chinese as the Next Superpower. Obviously Chinese interests play an important factor is Asian politics something which inadvertently effects Western civilization; sooner or later conflict and stress levels will escalate to a breaking point.
    Did Everquest teach you that?

  • #2
    I think it is more the writers and producers takeing advantage of the world news to write stories related to these events. That way the news acts as their advertisement.

    The show CSI does that all the time. There is a weird murder, they make a show out of it. Helps the ratings.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by astcell
      I think it is more the writers and producers takeing advantage of the world news to write stories related to these events. That way the news acts as their advertisement.

      The show CSI does that all the time. There is a weird murder, they make a show out of it. Helps the ratings.
      I agree with you in principle however I would disagree on the intent of the writers. We all have are presuppositions about life in general and how we live it. I believe that the James Bond writers, producers, etc. Are showing the changes society has made over the years by themselves witnessing the events of the real world. Obviously this might be a stretch but for certain you can track societal change in fashion, politics, and sex though the James Bond movies. Perhaps the James Bond series is like The Wizard of Oz....do you take the Wizard of Oz to be a children’s tale or a socially conscience book about WJ Bryant, the Gold Standard and the Populist Movements. I would argue that you could directly correlate the intents of both Frank Baum (W. of Oz author) and Ian Fleming as being that they wrote tells about life as they saw it and as they wanted it to be. I doubt both authors wrote the tales with little caring or guiding of the books. But I digress...thank you for the input Astcell.
      Did Everquest teach you that?

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      • #4
        When you say James Bond in these forums, most of us think of this James Bond.

        Unless you're a fed, in which case you laugh your ass off.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by astcell
          When you say James Bond in these forums, most of us think of this James Bond.

          Unless you're a fed, in which case you laugh your ass off.
          That's because feds know there are really 9 layers... Geeks never learn about:

          Layer 8: Money
          and
          Layer 9: Politics
          That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ndex
            That's because feds know there are really 9 layers... Geeks never learn about:

            Layer 8: Money
            and
            Layer 9: Politics
            It is a strange coincidence, but I just noticed the "Humor" section of the Wikipedia entry for the OSI model. I particularly enjoyed layer 10.



            Oh, and I'm not sure if James Bond is so much of a social critique as it is a reflection of the events at the time. People were thinking about those things, so the author wrote about them.

            I am reminded of William Golding's comments on Lord of the Flies. Many people refer to the book as an "allegorical novel" and analyze the characters and their rolls to death. However, in Golding's own words, he "just liked the picture of boys alone on an island". There is no intended meaning to the story, but people will find one in any case.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Voltage Spike
              I am reminded of William Golding's comments on Lord of the Flies. Many people refer to the book as an "allegorical novel" and analyze the characters and their rolls to death. However, in Golding's own words, he "just liked the picture of boys alone on an island". There is no intended meaning to the story, but people will find one in any case.
              Not trying to find some deeper meaning just paralleling the storylines to historical events and things.
              Did Everquest teach you that?

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              • #8
                OHMSS...what a waste of Diana Rigg.

                Al
                "Are my pants...threatening you?"

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                • #9
                  Yea, between Diana Rigg and Barbara Feldon (Agent 99)....

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                  • #10
                    agreed, damn Diana Rigg was a babe.
                    .:. Adrenaline .:.

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